D7 Visa as an Alternative to Golden Visa in Portugal

D7 Visa as an Alternative to Golden Visa in Portugal

Updated: 20 July 2023
Sophia Evans Investment Analyst at Get Golden Visa

Living in Portugal has long been a dream for many, and the Golden Visa program has helped make this dream a reality by offering a route to residency and citizenship for those willing to invest in the country. 

Through the program, investors have been able to enjoy all the benefits of living in Portugal, from its vibrant cultural scene to its thriving business environment, regardless of whether they were seeking a second home, a retirement destination, or a place to start a new life. 

Portugal owes much of its popularity among investors from all over the globe to the success of its much-favored Golden Visa program. However, the announcement by the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa revealing the government’s intention to shut down the Golden Visa program has caused a stir both domestically and internationally.

The move is said to be primarily aimed at tackling the issue of rising property prices. However, the decision has received criticism from various quarters, with detractors arguing that it will negatively impact the economy of Portugal because the Golden Visa program has been crucial in attracting foreign investment to the country, being instrumental in many sectors.

The recent news of the program’s significant changes in 2023 has also left many investors in a state of uncertainty and led some to question the reliability of investment migration programs in general.

With the Golden Visa in Portugal getting so restricted, it may be time to consider alternative options, such as the D7 Visa, which offers similar benefits and stands on much more solid ground.

The D7 Visa, also known as the “retiree visa” or the “passive income visa”, is a type of visa that allows non-EU nationals to reside in Portugal for one year or more without having to make a significant investment.

Designed for digital nomads, self-employed individuals, and those who wish to retire in Portugal, the D7 Visa is an excellent alternative to the Golden Visa program.  

To be eligible for the D7 Visa, applicants need to demonstrate that they have a steady and reliable source of passive income, such as a pension, regular dividends, or rental income. In addition to the evidence of income, the applicants must also show proof of health insurance coverage and provide a clean criminal record certificate.

One main advantage of the D7 Visa is that, unlike the Golden Visa program, it does not require a significant upfront investment, which makes it an attractive option for those who wish to reside in Portugal without having to make a major financial commitment. Furthermore, the D7 Visa allows family reunification. 

A significant difference between the D7 Visa and the Golden Visa is that the D7 Visa requires the holder to reside in Portugal physically. The residence permits of those who fail to meet the minimum stay requirement get canceled unless they demonstrate a justifiable reason as to their special circumstances, such as force majeure or professional duties. 

As far as the stay requirements go, temporary residence permit holders must avoid being out of the country for six consecutive months or eight non-consecutive months within the residency’s overall validity period. Permanent residence permit holders, on the other hand, must avoid being out of the country for 24 consecutive months or 30 non-consecutive months within three years to maintain their status.

D7 Visa Requirements

  • A passport that’s valid at least six months past the Portugal D7 Visa expiry date
  • Two recent passport-sized colored photographs
  • A statement of purpose for obtaining Portuguese residency
  • A health insurance policy that provides coverage in Portugal, or an affidavit indicating the intention to acquire health insurance within 90 days of arrival
  • A criminal record certificate
  • Travel insurance
  • Documentation proving accommodation in Portugal, such as a title deed, rental agreement, or property loan agreement
  • Proof of adequate finances available to the applicant to support themselves in Portugal
  • Evidence of having a reasonable net regular passive income.
  • Proof of pensions or income amounting to €8,460 annually for the main applicant (an additional sum of 50 percent of the said amount for the spouse and 30 percent for each dependent child if applicable)

Residency Permit Application Requirements

  • A valid passport with a D7 Visa issued by the Portuguese consulate in your region
  • Documentation demonstrating accommodation, as submitted to the Portuguese consulate
  • Proof of sufficient financial means, as submitted to the Portuguese consulate
  • Health insurance policy, if obtained in Portugal

To wrap it up, while the 2023 changes of the Golden Visa program may pose a challenge to Portugal’s economy and reputation, the D7 Visa offers a promising option to think about for self-employed individuals, digital nomads, and retirees seeking to make Portugal their home.

On a different note, it’s essential to recognize that the Golden Visa program cannot solely be responsible for the current housing crisis, and efforts should be made to address the root cause of the issue. Rather than abandoning the concept altogether, Portugal should focus on building upon its successes by encouraging foreign investment in areas such as modular construction, which can address the shortage of affordable housing. As a result of these efforts, Portugal can continue to attract and retain a diverse range of residents while promoting economic growth and stability for years to come simultaneously. If all else fails, though, investors always have the D7 Visa as quite an alternative to opt for.

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